Looking at New Brunswick’s collective ‘paycheque’

I have been writing lately about how New Brunswickers are far more reliant on government than ever before but it seems more and more are tuning out or becoming increasing cynical.

Certainly we are more reliant on government as a direct source of provincial income than a generation ago.

The following tables show the number of persons collecting income by source and the total amount of income collected by that source.

In 2010, 585,000 NBers received income from at least one source (essentially they filed a tax return showing income).  That is over 90% of all adults in the province.    That includes those who work full time, work part time, collect income from a retirement source/pension, investment or money direct from government.

Almost 420,000 New Brunswickers received income from the a government transfer.  More people declared income from a government source than declared employment income (418,280 earned employment income).

You can’t sum up the totals under the government transfers category because people can declare income from more than one source.

A few interesting points that align with recent trends we see elsewhere in the economy.  There has been a decline in the number of persons early self-employment income and the total amount of income from self-employment has actually declined if you adjusted for inflation over the 10 year period.   I can’t get a straight answer from folks that might know as to why this trend is occuring.  Both the number of self-employed persons and total self-employment income has been increasing across Canada.

The steep drop in the number of persons reporting investment income is concerning.  As the population ages, we would like to see more, not less, declared investment income.  However, the recession bit into investment income across Canada.

The decline in social assistance recipients and income is a 20 year trend and this is what is causing concern among some who study the EI changes.  It has been proposed that seasonal work/EI has replaced for a certain percentage of the population what would have been social assistance in the past.  If that postulate holds, the concern is that maybe 20,000 or more people will eventually go back on the social assistance rolls as the result of the changes.    This is a theory, but a plausible one.

If you want to know how the regions within New Brunswick fare on the reliance on government income scale, there is a table below.  If you want the full list of Canadian CMA/CA areas, click here for a PDF version.